Where are humanists when it hurts?

Writing for the New York Times, Samuel G. Freedman is asking how humanists can and should respond to tragedies like the recent school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. The funerals and burials over the past two weeks have taken place in Catholic, Congregational, Mormon and United Methodist houses of worship, among others. They have been held in Protestant megachurches and in a Jewish cemetery. A black Christian youth group traveled from Alabama to perform “Amazing Grace” at several of the ser … [Read more...]

Movieguide: Rejecting God Leads to Murder by “Soulless Meat Machines”

In light of something as horrible as the Sandy Hook shooting, it's not surprising that people want to know the reasons why something like this happened -- presumably so they can prevent it from happening again. Shortly after the shooting, Mike Huckabee made some comments about a cause that received no small amount of attention and criticism, including some from CAPC's very own Alan Noble.And now, Ted Baehr and Tom Snyder -- the folks behind Movieguide, a popular movie review site that has r … [Read more...]

Slowly but Surely, Positive Changes are Coming to Chinese Factories

Earlier this year, I wrote about the strange story of Mike Daisey, an author and speaker who released a riveting account of his trips to Foxconn, the Chinese factory that produces Apple's iPhone and iPad (along with many other electronic devices). He reported seeing poor working conditions, health risks, and other disturbing things, and his report garnered much acclaim and attention.And then it was revealed that Daisey's claims were riddled with lies and half-truths.However, it was true … [Read more...]

Does Russia Truly Care for the Fatherless?

Russia is one of the primary sources for international adoptions for U.S. families. In the past two decades, over 60,000 Russian children have been adopted into American homes, and a significant portion of these children suffered from developmental issues that almost certainly wouldn't have been treated well in their birth country. However, the Russian government has now passed a law that could endanger the lives of many such children, by banning all adoptions to the United States.Russia has … [Read more...]

Our Favorite Music of 2012

The Christ and Pop Culture writers got together and hashed out our list of the best music we heard this year. Here's what we came up with. Update: check out these and more of our favorite albums on Spotify here.  1) Mumford & Sons - BabelThe second album by the most recent Brits-to-do-American-music-better-than-Americans was one of 2012's most anticipated albums in many different circles: the radio crowd, country music fans, rockabilly kids, and Americana-heads all bought Babel (or l … [Read more...]

What am I cheering for when Anonymous takes on Westboro Baptist Church?

Westboro Baptist Church -- the infamous "Christian" group known for their virulently anti-gay agenda and for protesting soldiers' funerals -- further cemented their status as one of America's most hated groups when they announced that they would protest a vigil for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting to "sing praise to God for the glory of his work in executing his judgment." The reactions came swiftly: Counter-protests were called for and a White House petition to have W … [Read more...]

Filmwell’s “Favored TV Moments of 2012”

As a companion piece of sorts to CaPC's own list of favorite television shows from the last year, check out this list of "favored TV moments" by my Filmwell colleague M. Leary. As the title implies, it's less a rundown of favorite shows, and more reflections on specific moments within those shows, including: Doctor Who's "impossible astronaut"; Community's "Digital Estate Planning"; and the opening credits of "Game of Thrones", which, as Leary puts it, "is a pitch perfect representation of the … [Read more...]

Gossiping About a Mass Murderer

When something as tragic and horrible as the recent school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut occurs, our natural response is to try and comprehend it, to try and grasp its magnitude. We want to know what happened, how it happened, and why. Theories and ideas are tossed around, and as more details come to light, we latch on to them and see how they fit into our pre-existing narratives for the event. We want to make sense of the senseless, to find some order in the chaos.Unfortunately, in that r … [Read more...]

The Deeper Meaning Behind Our Favorite Christmas Carols

Christ and Pop Culture writers share their reflections on their favorite Christmas carols, and how, all kitsch and schmaltz aside, they bring meaning to the holiday every year. Whether it's songs from the Christian tradition, classic Christmas pop music (thinking Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, or Bing Crosby), or contemporary renditions of both -- I think we all reach the point of saturation one moment or another each Christmas season with Christmas music. But even so, these songs remain some of … [Read more...]

Kathy Redmond’s Story is One of Justice, Forgiveness, and Cornhusker Football

I live in Lincoln, Nebraska, and college football is the (un)official state religion. When the Cornhuskers play home games, Memorial Stadium becomes the state's third largest city, and that's been the case for a very long time. (The stadium currently holds an NCAA record of 325 consecutive sellouts.) People eat, sleep, and breathe Husker football here, and when the team wins or loses, it can affect the entire state's psyche.This can certainly be a good thing. Even though I'm not a huge … [Read more...]